Nobody can deny the beauty and charisma of architectural marvels like the Taj Mahal, The Ajanta and Ellora Caves and The Sun Temple. But there are a lot of other hidden gems in an intoxicating country like India that deserve as much attention. These lesser-known places possess their very own off-beat allure.
Here’s a list of 12 hidden gems, the most underrated destinations in India that you just cannot afford to miss.
1. Auli- Incredibly Amazing Skiing Destination
This adventure spot is meant for bravehearts. One of the most exciting ski-destinations, the picturesque town of Auli in Uttarakhand is also home to the world’s highest artificial lake.
You will be surprised to know that this hilly terrain also hosts the National Championships of Snow Skiing.
With a past that dates back to the 8th century, this hilly spot surrounded by coniferous and oak forests, proffers an unspoiled ambiance and a spectacular view of the mountain ranges in the vicinity.
2. Bhedaghat- A Town Decked in Splendor
Located on the banks of River Narmada, in the Jabalpur district of Madhya Pradesh, the little town of Bhedaghat has a unique experience to offer.
Soaring in splendor, the major attractions of the serene town are the Dhuandhar falls, Bandar Kodini and the Chausath Yogini Temple.
A visit to the Bandar Kodini, the Marble Rock Mountains on a full moon night is an experience that should not be missed for anything.
3. Bundi- An Enchanting Indian Town
A small and colorful town nestled at the base of a large desert hill in Rajasthan, Bundi is one gem of a place. This captivating town has dozens of narrow lanes, blue houses and temples at every turn.
Bundi Palace, one of the most well-preserved palaces in India is indeed a sight to behold. The grand Taragarh Fortress further adds to its magical atmosphere.
There are a lot of convenient options to reach this enchanting town. If you are travelling from Jaipur and comfort is your utmost priority, then a Jaipur to Ajmer taxi is a great option. These two places are also rich in history and character. From Ajmer, you can head to Bundi.
4. Jilling- Perfect Weekend Getaway
Tucked away in the Kumaon Hills, the forest estate of Jilling in Nainital is an ideal place for wildlife enthusiasts.
If you wish to spend time basking in the arms of Nature, this place is meant for you. Also, a tourist gets to see the second highest mountain peak, the majestic Nanda Devi from Jilling Estate.
5. Lonar Crater Lake – The Mighty Lake crater
Unbelievably old at 52,000 years, Lonar crater in the Buldana district of Maharashtra is one of Earth’s only hyper-velocity impact craters and the best preserved crater on the planet.
The crater was formed when a meteor weighing 2 million tons crashed into the earth at an estimated speed of 90,000kmph; and that left a 150 meters deep dent.
One of a kind in the world, this lake needs to be visited no matter what.
6. Majuli- One of the World’s Largest River Islands
Located on the banks of the Brahmaputra River in Assam, Majuli is one of the largest river islands in the world and is home to nearly 100 species of birds.
With its unparalleled scenic beauty and cultural wonders, this river island is a world on its own.
Surveys indicate that the island will cease to exist within 20 years, as it might submerge under water. So if you wish to visit this spectacular place, you mustn’t waste time!
7. Pithoragarh- For the Wildlife Enthusiasts
Nestled in a small valley, the captivating town of Pithoragarh is located in Uttarakhand. The town shares its boundaries with China and Nepal. A traveler gets to see the ultimate view of the Himalayan ranges from this town.
What adds to its charm?
It is home to diverse wild animal species and caves.
8. Sandakphu- Paradise of Trekkers
The highest peak in West Bengal, Sandakphu is a paradise for trekkers. There is a profusion of poisonous plants near the peak, hence the name Sandakphu’- which means Height of the Poison Plant’.
The peak has nature at its absolute best. In spring, it looks like the Garden of Eden, as it is home to more than 600 varieties of orchids.
9. Tarkarli Beach Far from the Madding Crowd
Located at the convergence of the Karli River and the Arabian Sea, the narrow stretch of Tarkarli beach lies about 546 km away from Mumbai.
With transparently clear sea as its major attraction, this is one of the most unspoiled beaches in southern Konkan.
Tarkarli also promises to offer a lot of adventurous water sports such as scuba diving and snorkeling.
10. Unakoti- An archaeological wonder with an enticing legend
One of the most underrated destinations in the country, Unakoti is a unique place and is located about 180 km from Tripura’s capital, Agartala.
Unakoti, the pilgrimage spot has beautiful rock carvings of Hindu gods and goddesses. There’s a mythological tale associated with this archaeological wonder, one that will utterly amaze you. It’s the element of mystery that makes this place so fascinating. Amongst the various carved out images of deities, those of Ganesha and Shiva are prominent. These intricate carvings are indeed a sight to behold.
The mythological tale, associated with this archaeological wonder will surely amaze you.
11. Vagamon- A Beautiful Verdant Spot
A blend of religious mysticism and European legacy, Vagamon is one of the most beautiful lush green tourist spots in the Idukki district of Kerala.
Vagamon demands to be seen and explored. It is a delight to the eyes.
12. Yercaud- Poor man’s Ootacamund
With vast tranquil valleys and a beautiful landscape, Yercaud is a hill station located in the Shevaroy hills of Tamil Nadu.
It is referred to as Poor man’s Ootacamund’, since things here are more affordable as compared to some of the other popular hill stations.
What are some of its most fascinating aspects?
The summer festival, the historical sites and the flora and fauna!
Choosing to go off the beaten track and exploring these unknown places might make you more resilient and confident. We all need the tonic of wildness, so give it a shot. And listen to the wanderer in you!